Whether we like it or not, we are our siblings first and best friends. No one knows your brothers or sisters better than you do, not even your parents. This strong connection is even more powerful than you think. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, siblings have one of the biggest effects on each other when compared to outside sources. When one child is suffering with addiction, it is common that your other children will know about the problem before a parent even suspects it.
The Impact of Addiction on Siblings
Sibling make pacts and promises to keep each other out of trouble. When alcohol or drugs are introduced to one child, the other children in the house may keep it a secret from their parents to protect their brother or sister. Siblings tend to cover for one another, making it harder for parents to discover an addiction.
Once illegal and addictive substances enter the house, the likelihood of other children abusing drugs may increase. This is not always the case, but it is easy for siblings, especially ones close in age, to do the same activities together. As a parent, it is hard to detect addiction in one child, and it could be even harder in two.
The last impact is separation of your siblings. If one sibling is addicted to drugs, the other may stop hanging around that sibling. As a parent, you still may not find out what’s going on unless you ask your children why they’re not speaking. Keeping in communication with your children is the key to helping them with their struggles.
How Can I Ask My Children What’s Wrong?
It is hard to ask one child to tell you what is going on with another. Consider asking all your children about their day and if you see any changes in behavior, ask them what’s wrong. Here are some tips on how to ask a family member if they needs help with an addiction.
We offer a variety of adolescent and adult addiction services at CADS. We’re dedicated to helping families stay strong and healthy. We are here to HELP! For more information, give us a call at 563-326-1150.
CADS offers a variety of substance abuse services focused on support, care, and treatment designed to meet the needs of families and individuals of all age groups in the community.